Tiger Translocation Aborted In Odisha; Tigress Sundari To Be Sent Back To Kanha

Bhubaneswar: In a major blow to the tiger translocation programme to increase big cats’ population in Odisha, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has asked the state government to immediately send back tigress Sundari from Satkosia sanctuary to Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

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In a letter to Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, the NTCA DIG informed that there will be no inter-state tiger translocation in Odisha, henceforth.

Criticising the state government, the NTCA DIG said that the state Forest Department in gross violation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) had kept the tigress inside a small enclosure which hindered her movement.

“The Tigress T-2 cannot be allowed to be kept in a small enclosure for any longer time. Therefore, in interest of Tiger Conservation, the tigress T-2 shall be withdrawn and brought to Ghorela centre at Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, with immediate effect for re-wilding and subsequent release to suitable habitat,” the letter dated December 17 said.

Sundari, which was brought from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in June 2018 as part of the inter-state tiger translocation project, was released into Satkosia Tiger Reserve in August the same year. The Forest Department, however, was forced to relocate the big cat back into a special rehabilitation enclosure after death of two persons and a bullock in Baghamunda and Tainsi villages inside the reserve area allegedly after being attacked by the tigress sparked protests.

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